The One Where Something is Announced

Something Marcus and I pride ourselves on is the amount of time we’ve spent to train our dog Winnie. We’ve had her since she was only 6 weeks old, and have spent so much time working on commands, good behavior, and of course, tricks. We have a big one coming up for her, and expect it will take her a solid 9 months to really catch on.

Winnie's Announcement V3

Details to come tomorrow :)

Working Out With PUMA

The following post is sponsored by Fitfluential LLC on behalf of PUMA

Something I just can’t get enough of is workout clothes. I can walk into normal stores and not purchase a thing, but show me a sweat wicking top and a pair of spandex shorts – I’m done for. Who else is with me?

Lucky for me, PUMA sent me a very functional and cute workout outfit to keep working out fun! I am usually a racerback kind of girl I like the movement of the tops, so I pretty much stick to it. I was a little bit hesitant when I saw the Puma top, but wow , it is crazy comfy! It’s long, doesn’t ride up, and doesn’t stick to you once you get all sweaty.

Puma top

The compression pants are designed differently than anything I’ve ever seen. On the inside, the actually have athletic tape to fit the anatomical positions of our body. With this positioning, performance is maximized during and after exercise. They are definitely tight, as they are made of lycra, but they aren’t the “so tight they cut off your circulation type pants”, ya know?

Puma

Last but not  least, we all need shoes for our strength training. I have plenty of running shoes, but it is important to have a different pair to strength train in, as I don’t want to wear my running specific shoes in a weird way. The Formlite XT Ultra Fluo is made  for superior cushioning, comfort, and stability. The sole is made of a 360 fit and flex, so they are extremely light and very flexible.

Puma

With such a great outfit to wear cross training, I’d say we need a great workout to go with it, right? Check out the circuit below. Do 30 seconds for each exercise, and then move to the next one. Complete a minimum of three circuits for a great, heart pounding workout.

PumaFitness.jpg

Target Your Glutes

One area I have a lot of clients want to work on is their glutes, and all around hip area. Your glutes are the biggest muscle group in your body, so it’s a very good idea to keep them strong. It can help you to prevent injury and get stronger overall. There are amazing exercises to really isolate these areas, so check them out below. You (and your jeans!) will be happy you did.

Squats

There is a reason nearly every group exercise class, bootcamp, and personal training session usually includes squats –> they work!! Keep your feet shoulder width apart, or stretch them a bit wider for a deeper, different feel. Start with just your body weight, then add more weight as you get more comfortable with the movement. They are both very effective and with get those glutes in tip-top shape!

Sprints

Ever watch the Olympics and see how sprinters have quite the muscular tooshes? Well, there is good reason for that. Sprints are a great way to increase your muscle mass. Of course, they do all kinds of exercises as well, but those sprints surely aren’t hurting anything.

Olympics Day 14 - Athletics

via hellobeautiful.com

Flutterkicks

Flutterkicks can be an amazing ab exercise, but also great for other muscles to. Lay on your stomach with you arms by your side. Pretend you are doing small kicks, as if you were in a pool. This simple motion is a great isolation exercise that you can do nearly anywhere.

Kickbacks

These tend to feel a little silly when you do them in public, but oh well – they work! Get on your hands and knees, with a flat back. One at a time, raise your leg towards the ceiling, with your knee still bent. You will have a wider range of motion, and much more isolation as well.

Glute Kickback

(Source – bodybuilding.com)

Glute Bridge on Bosu

This is a twist on an old classic. Instead of doing a regular bridge, grab a bosu ball. Lay flat on your back, with your knees bent and your feet on the squishy side of the bosu. Keep your feet on the ball and raise up your hips. To take it to the next level, straighten out one leg. After 5-10 seconds, switch legs. This is great for your lower back and glutes as well, so take advantage of it. If you do not have access to a bosu ball, just go through the same motion right on the floor.

Glute raise on bosu

 

via Realsimple.com

Deadlifts

Deadlifts are amazing for a lot of muscles, your butt included. If you have never done one, ask a trainer where you work out to give you some guidance. Good form is imperative so you don’t get injured. Start with very minimal weight, just to get the movement down, and increase the weight from there. You can even use dumbbells at first, rather than the entire barbell. If you do not have access to a personal trainer, check out the video below for correct form and technique.

What other exercises do you do to target your glutes?

Polar RC3 GPS Watch Review

The following post is sponsored by Fitfluential LLC on behalf of Polar.

Runners really only need one item to participate in their sport – shoes of course. As we all know, want and need are two very different things. Once you get into some long distance running, you tend to want to be able to track how far you are running, along with the pace, and better yet, your heart rate.

Enter the Polar RC3 GPS and Heart Rate Monitor.

Polar RC3 Review.jpg

I’ve used a few GPS running watches over the years, and I have to admit, I’ve never strayed away from my beloved Garmin. I’ve had 3 other Garmin GPS watches, and I was pretty critical when first receiving the Polar RC3. Well, nice job Polar – the watch is pretty wonderful.  From a purely aesthetic standpoint, it may not be the cutest or brightest watch out there (although there is a bright red version), but it is functional. There are two points that secure the band from flopping around when you wear it. It is also extremely light weight. Given the capabilities it has, the weight is pretty shocking. It isn’t bulky and doesn’t get in the way if you wear it for something other than running. This is the only GPS watch that I will wear just hanging out. I don’t feel like I need to take it off right after running.

Battery Life

For me, a HUGE plus to this watch is the amazing battery life! I have had problems in the past where I get out for my run, and I see the awful low battery notification flashing – aka, the worst omen for a run. Check out the battery operating time below.

Polar Battery Operating Time

Yep, you see that right -1700 hours of continuous use with the GPS function off, 12 hours of continuous use with GPS on, and 4 months if the time view is what you use a lot. This is definitely the most efficient watch I have used so far in regard to the battery, hands down.

When you do need to plug it in, you are forced to use the USB provided. This can be convenient for some, but not for others. When I travel, there are plenty of times where I don’t feel like bringing my computer with me. Quick weekend and overnight trips just don’t require a computer for me. I have an old Droid phone charger that I can plug a USB cable into, and then plug into the wall. It is a pretty easy way to get around the USB cable only charging method, but still isn’t ideal.

Multiple Screens

When out for a run, not everyone wants to see they same data when they look down at their watch. The RC3 has 10 different screens to relay the information to you, depending on what you are looking for. While the 10 screens are pretty great, a negative to this feature is the screens can not be customized. If you want one piece of data from one screen that isn’t on any others, paired with a piece of data of your choice, you are out of luck. You will have to toggle between the two screens. Given that there are 10 separate screens, you are pretty likely to find what you are looking for. I have had just a couple of times where I would have liked to be able to customize the space.

GPS

I will say I have had no issues with the GPS – at all. It registers quickly (in less than a minute) and I have yet to lose signal. Now,  I haven’t used it on any crazy cloudy days yet, but regardless, it has been working great. It is nice and accurate, and the travelled distance is very easy to read. I haven’t done any biking with the watch yet (only running) so I really can’t speak for the cycling component of the GPS (or the settings). The GPS can easily be turned off to conserve battery if you are using the watch for cross training or solely for the heart rate monitor.

Heart Rate Monitor

Now, this is Polar’s claim to fame. They are known for the capabilities they have with monitoring heart rate while exercising. Heart rate training really deserves an entire post (coming soon!), but if you are looking for a little more information, check out this article. It goes more in-depth and can help you to understand a bit more on the benefits and possible drawbacks of training with a heart rate monitor.

Polar RC3

On some of the screens, your heart rate is constantly measured and showed for you to easily view. At any point, you can access your heart rate and make sure you are on track. After you have finished your exercise, you can access many different summary screens, including your sport zones. This is where your heart rate is shown in the time that you were in the zone. I know there is so much more to this watch that I haven’t even discovered yet, and I am very excited to explore it a little more!

If you are looking for a new GPS heart rate monitor watch, check out the Polar RC3. With the code fitfluential, you will receive 25% off MSRP on the Polar website. This code is good through August 31, 2013, so hop to it!

 

Running in the News

I’ve seen some interesting stories in the past week in the news, and want to share and discuss them with all of you. Please leave your thoughts in the comments :)

Boston Marathon adding 9,000 spots

I am sure a lot of you have seen this going around on Facebook and Twitter the past couple of days. The Boston Marathon is adding 9,000 spots to the field. Usually the race has 27,000 participants, so by adding 9,000 runners, you would assume this would make the new field 36,000, right? Wrong. They actually haven’t determined the overall size of the field yet. They are still having to check with the different towns and cities it runs through to make this final decision.

With over 5,600 runners with guaranteed entry due to being unable to finish last year, do you think they want to make sure more people are able to run the iconic race, especially since it will be the year following the bombing? Or do you think it is a way to help combat the faster finishing times, so more runners feel that they have a chance to get in? I feel like its a little bit of both. All I know is the Boston Marathon is the most amazing experience to have the chance to participate in. Perhaps this will give more runners the chance at making the turn onto Boylston and crossing the finish line a lot of runners only dream of!

Boston Finish Line

Hitting the Wall

My friend Ryan shared this with me yesterday, and I definitely feel it is worth chatting about. A new biosensor has been developed, about the size and feel of a temporary tattoo, that can actually alert athletes when they are about to hit the wall. The sensor monitors lactate, which is a form of lactic acid released in sweat.

I am very split on this new sensor. Do I really want my mind to know before my body that my race is about to take a turn for the worst? Once you are about to hit the wall, there is really now turning back. You can’t just starting fueling right that second and get all of your energy back. Could you possibly alleviate some of all that wall hitting? I would presume so. But not competely. You can’t take back the first half of the race where your pace was too fast, and you are paying for it now.

Don’t get me wrong, this is a pretty amazing new scientific finding. There is just something to be said about training and racing smart. I am at the point where I have finally figured out how to run a marathon without bonking at the end. It all has to do with starting out slower than race pace, and slowly negative splitting the race. It’s not because I have a tattoo on my arm telling me what is happening. I fuel right, listen to my body, and have the experience of running enough marathons to be able to tell the difference. You may think the complete opposite though, so let me know! I may be looking at this completely from one side, so please enlighten me with your thoughts too!

Share your thoughts with us below!